Sometimes I spend 20 minutes staring at my WordPress post editor trying to think of something to write. Then, I get frustrated so I waste time on my personal Facebook timeline or looking around at things I’d never buy on Amazon. That’s even less helpful than staring at a blank page! I started telling myself that during my morning blogging time, if I couldn’t write, then I needed to find something else blog related to do. It has made a huge difference in my excitement about being here, and has helped me stay on track to write more consistently in this space. I’m sure I’m not the only person who gets writer’s block, so here are four things you can do for your blog when you don’t feel like writing.
Update Your Sidebar
Check out the links and the banners to make sure they still look right and fit your brand. I don’t look at my blog homepage very often. I go straight into the editor and I check and make sure posts published properly, but I don’t analyze the sidebars or check out the links. However, when I do, I’m reminded that it’s an important task to do every so often. If you have any affiliate banners, the company may have changed them so the colors don’t look right with your brand. You may have accidentally changed something and now some of the important links don’t work anymore. Or, it could be that you thought you had your social media links right, and it turns out you missed one. I’ve been to several blogs where I go to follow the person on instagram or twitter and it still says “your URL here.” They just missed that one!
You can also update your social media widgets. You’ll see to your right that I have a Pinterest widget, and at the bottom of the page, I have an Instagram widget. Instead of just a button to follow me, you can actually see the content I share and you’ll be able to make an immediate decision about whether or not it looks like an account you’d like to follow. The Pinterest widget is relatively new. One day when I had writer’s blog I started playing around with the widgets available, and the Pinterest one showed up. I didn’t even know it existed! Things change so frequently in the tech world that if you don’t check in and see what’s out there, you might be missing out on awesome side bar options that will really pull your whole site together!
There are a lot of resources about how to best layout your sidebar. Georgia Lou Studios (where I purchased this theme) has a series this year about updating your sidebar. There’s a ton of great information about the different widgets, including the menus, on your blog! I’ve applied several of their tips to WMSB already!
Create New Social Media Content
Your presence on social media is just as important as your blog. Your readers are a very important part of your blog and if you never talk to them on social media, they may not stick around for many more of your posts. Plus, it’s a lot less intimidating to write 140 characters about The Bachelor or a great sale online than it is to try to come up with 800-1,000 words, take photos and then edit photos on one particular topic.
Are you at a total loss on what to write about, or do you have a title all laid out but you just can’t find the right words? Hop onto your favorite social media network and start interacting with the Tweets, Facebook posts or Instagram photos that your followers are sharing. By joining the conversation in their space, you’re showing the people who take the time to read your blog that they’re important to you, too.
Update the Graphics in Old Posts
Believe it or not, there was a time in the past when perfectly edited shots and pin-worthy graphics weren’t even a thing! If you’ve been blogging more than a couple of years, you may have some posts that need to be brought up to 2017 standards. At the same time, any blogger who has had even a couple of months of practice may have some older posts that don’t meet his or her current standards.
Take the cringe-worthy journey into your old posts and see if you can update any of the photos to be crisper shots. You don’t need to take all new photos, unless it’s necessary. Just find the original one on your hard drive, iPhone or camera and do some edits. Also, if you have any posts that don’t have at least one vertical image with writing on it, do that now. Vertical photos with the title or an enticing phrase on them do the best on Pinterest. When writer’s block kicks in, it’s a great time to try a new creative outlet, and photo editing just might be the key to break through!
Take a Course
Back in the fall I bought Ultimate Bundle’s Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. I now have ample trainings available to me until November. I also have a plethora of webinars and e-mail courses that I signed up for and never completed. A few weeks ago I hit a total road block when it came to writing, so instead I watched a whole training on Pinterest. The training actually wasn’t that helpful, but it motivated me to work on my Pinterest. Then, by working on my Pinterest, I was so inspired by the types of posts I could write to go deeper into the topics we talk about here, that the next day I started writing again. By directing my attention away from the blank text editor, and by learning and becoming reinvigorated about the different pieces of my blog, I was able to come back the next day, refreshed and ready to write.
You don’t have to pay for a course to learn something. A lot of bloggers who offer courses also offer free webinars or videos. You can also search YouTube for blogging or social media tips and tricks. For example, By Regina offers a plethora of free handbooks and webinars about blogging and monetization. Melyssa Griffin is a Pinterest genius (and probably a huge reason why that Pinterest course I took didn’t teach me anything new), and does free Pinterest webinars with some frequency. I often forget how much treasure is on YouTube (I usually stick to music videos since no one seems to show those on the actual TV anymore), like this video by What Olivia Did on How to Start a Blog and Blogging Tips which has over 30,000 views! I actually hadn’t heard of her until I was looking for a good YouTube example for this post and now I’m hooked! If you want to multitask by listening in the car or while on a walk or job, you can also check out a variety of Podcasts (here are 5 of my current faves). The options are endless, even on a budget, to learn about blogging!
Do you have writer’s block? Sit down somewhere calm and distraction free, and look for a new training today with no pressure other than learning and trying something new!
What do you do when you’re feeling writer’s block? Does it help?